Category Archives: Beverages/Smoothies

Watermelon-Mint-Lime Water

When hot weather comes around, I usually crave watermelon. It’s so refreshing and it’s good for you too. And I discovered that watermelon is also great for making flavored water! Combining chunks of juicy watermelon with fresh mint and tart limes makes a great-tasting summery drink! You just have to plan ahead a little, since you need to chill the mixture for 1 to 2 hours before drinking.

I buy watermelon regularly throughout the summer and I grow my own mint in a large pot, so I had everything I needed to make this except for the limes. You can make it without limes, but I like the refreshing zing they add to the mix!

WATERMELON-MINT-LIME WATER by NancyC

Makes 1 large pitcher

  • 3 cups cubed watermelon chunks (cut in 1/2″ size cubes)
  • 4 sprigs of mint (a sprig is a stem with 6 to 8 leaves), lightly crushed or rubbed (to release flavor and scent)
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced (use organic limes or wash limes very well!)
  • 7 to 8 cups of water
  • 2 to 3 cups of ice

Add cubed watermelon, mint sprigs, and sliced limes to pitcher, then add water and ice. Chill for 1 to 2 hours to infuse flavors, then serve, pouring into ice-filled glasses. Tastes best the day it’s made.

It definitely does taste best the day it’s made, but you can finish drinking this flavored water up by the second day if you have any left over. It really is refreshing and more fun to drink than plain water! What do you like to add to your water?

Sharing at Inspire Me Monday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck.

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Strawberry-Kiwi-Banana Smoothie

For me, summer is smoothie weather and I love having them for breakfast! It’s always fun trying out different flavors. Strawberries, kiwifruit, and bananas are a great combination, and this smoothie uses frozen banana slices to help thicken it and make it creamy. This smoothie is good and easy to make. And using a slice of kiwifruit as a garnish adds a nice colorful touch! Try this out for breakfast or for a healthy afternoon snack.

STRAWBERRY-KIWI-BANANA SMOOTHIE by NancyC

Makes about 2 cups

1 medium size banana, sliced and frozen

  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (or substitute a dairy-free yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup milk (you can use low-fat, soy, or almond milk)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • Optional: a slice of kiwifruit for garnish

Add frozen banana slices, fresh strawberry slices, kiwifruit slices, yogurt, honey, milk, and flaxseed, if using, into a blender. Blend mixture for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass, add a slice of kiwifruit as a garnish, and enjoy!

This smoothie is a real treat and it’s nice that it’s healthy, too! I love making things with fresh fruit–especially strawberries! Are you a fan of strawberries, too?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.

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Cookies and Cream Frappuccino

I’m a big fan of cookies and cream flavored things, even though I try not to have them too often. So I buy Oreos kind of sparingly and eat them kind of sparingly. Just the other week, I was down to 5 Oreo cookies, and it turned out to be just the right amount to make this Cookies and Cream Frappucino. I got the idea from a recipe on the Community Coffee blog site, but I ended up changing it quite a bit. One ingredient I added to give this frappuccino a rich chocolate flavor was some unsweetened cocoa powder. I also added some honey to enhance the sweetness. It’s a great dessert coffee to indulge in on a warm day!

You can use your favorite coffee to make this frappuccino, but I used Community Coffee’s Coffee and Chicory Blend (it comes in a regular or decaf blend). I had the chance to try out a few Community Coffee products that included chicory, which I’ve been wanting to try out. I’ve read that mixing coffee and chicory is a Southern tradition, especially in New Orleans, where it’s often served cafe au lait style with steamed milk. And I’ve also read that chicory is a great caffeine-free option to use on its own or mixed in with coffee if you need to watch your caffeine intake (I usually have to limit my caffeine to the morning hours). Since I used the decaf Coffee and Chicory Blend, I was able to enjoy this frappuccino later in the day and still get a good night’s sleep! 🙂 I really like the taste of the Coffee and Chicory Blend–the chicory blends in so well with the coffee you don’t really notice it–it just tastes like a great cup of coffee. I also tried the Ground Pure Chicory.  You’ll be able to taste a difference if you’re just drinking the pure chicory without blending it with coffee, but I actually thought it tasted good on its own. Some people I know prefer it blended with coffee, so it just depends on what you like.

Here’s the recipe if you want to try this frappuccino out for yourself!

COOKIES AND CREAM FRAPPUCCINO by NancyC, adapted from the Community Coffee blog

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons light cream (Half & Half)
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cold, strong brewed coffee (any Community Coffee flavor works great, as well as their Decaf Coffee & Chicory blend or 100% Pure Chicory)
  • 4 Oreo cookies, crushed (or your favorite chocolate sandwich cookies)
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes or crushed ice
  • Whipped cream and 1 additional crushed Oreo cookie for garnish

In a blender, add milk, light cream, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, coffee and 4 crushed Oreo cookies; blend for 45 to 60 seconds. Add in ice cubes and blend everything for another 20 to 30 seconds.

Pour mixture into a coffee mug, drinking glass, or mason jar. Garnish with whipped cream and 1 crushed Oreo cookie.

This is a real treat when you’re craving chocolate or something mocha-flavored! And it works well with coffee, chicory, or both! Have you ever tried blending chicory with your coffee?

Sharing this at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Banana, Mango, Ginger, Orange Smoothie

Banana Mango Ginger Orange Smoothie @ NancyC

Yes, that’s quite a long name but it sounds good, doesn’t it? This smoothie recipe comes from a cookbook called Eating Clean in Costa Rica (softcover). As I looked through my review copy, I found lots of easy, healthy foods that the book describes as 616-fPC8brL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_“farm-to-table” recipes and there are 108 to choose from for breakfast and brunch, main dishes, veggies and sides, salads, soups, and desserts. The instructions for most of the recipes include amounts measured in grams, milliliters, etc., so if you’re used to cups and ounces like I am, you’ll have to convert the amounts.

I thought I’d try the Banana, Mango, Ginger, Orange Smoothie. It sounds kind of summery, but the day I made this it was almost 70 degrees. So a tropical-sounding smoothie was in order to celebrate this warm sunny day! It was so smooth and creamy, and had a great lightly-sweet taste. Normally I like to sweeten smoothies with honey, but this recipe does not need any additional sweetener.

BANANA, MANGO, GINGER, ORANGE SMOOTHIE from Eating Clean in Costa Rica

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 mango
  • 1 to 2 bananas (I used 2 bananas)
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 200 ml plain yogurt (I used 1 cup–it’s not an exact conversion, but it’s very close!)
  • A pinch of ground ginger (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 12 ice cubes
  • 2 slices of lime

Cut mango into cubes, removing the pit and skin. Chop the bananas. Juice the oranges.

Combine these ingredients into a blender, including the ginger and yogurt. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding a little water if needed.

Add ice cubes and blend once more. Serve in tall glasses decorated with a slice of lime.

I love smoothies and I’m sure I’ll be making this quite often during the warm weather. Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Show and ShareFull Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Easy Salted Caramel Latte

Easy Salted Caramel Latte @ NancyC

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If you want to treat yourself on a chilly day, think about making yourself a nice hot caramel latte! This recipe makes a creamy and slightly sweet latte. I don’t like overly sweet coffee drinks myself, but if you like yours sweeter, you can add an extra Tablespoon of caramel topping to your coffee/milk mixture. And you’ll definitely want to top this latte with some whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel topping, and a dash of sea salt–the sea salt gives it just the right punch!

NonnisBiscottiWhen you’re enjoying this latte, you may want to have biscotti to go along with it. I recently had the chance to try some limited-edition holiday biscotti flavors from Nonni’s®–I received a box of their Cranberry Cioccolati Biscotti and Gingerbread Biscotti. The Cranberry Cioccolati flavor is dipped in rich dark chocolate, and since I’m a big fan of dark chocolate, that flavor was my favorite. But the Gingerbread biscotti, dipped in white icing, was also good and had a nice gingery, spicy flavor. There are also two other flavors that I haven’t tried–Caramel Apple Biscotti and Pumpkin Spice Biscotti–and those sound really good, too! Not only are these holiday biscotti flavors great for snacking, they also make nice stocking stuffers and food gifts, since they’re individually wrapped.

Easy Salted Caramel Latte II @ NancyC

Here’s the latte recipe if you want to try it out!

EASY SALTED CARAMEL LATTE by NancyC

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup strong coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon caramel ice cream topping
  • dash of sea salt
  • Whipped cream and additional caramel topping for garnish

Combine coffee, Half & Half, milk, and caramel topping in a microwave-safe container. Heat for about 60 seconds, or until mixture is hot. Stir with a spoon to combine ingredients.

Pour mixture into a serving cup. Top with whipped cream, lightly drizzle with caramel topping, sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and serve.

This latte is so easy to make! And tastes great with biscotti! Do you make your own fancy coffee drinks at home?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Foodie FriDIY, Sunday Features, Nifty Thrifty SundayInspire Me Monday. Show and Share, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Share Your Style, Thursday Favorite ThingsShowcase Your Talent Thursday, Fabulous Foodie Fridays, Feathered Nest Friday.